Miss America pageant to feature both Miami U. grad and school’s symphony

Ohio’s representative in tonight’s Miss America pageant is a proud Miami University RedHawk, and the Butler County school will be featured in another way during the nationally televised competition.

The music accompanying Caroline Grace Williams’ vocal performance during the nationally televised contest comes from the Miami University Symphony Orchestra.

The reigning Miss Ohio, Williams also works as an admission counselor for the school.

Williams, who graduated from Miami in 2017 with a theatre and voice double major and a music theatre minor, credits her education in the arts for providing her with the creative edge she needed to win Miss Ohio.

“Having a theater background, I can adapt quickly and even be comfortable in high-pressure situations like being on stage,” Williams said in a statement released by Miami University.

When Williams performs for the talent portion, she will be accompanied by a recording of the Miami University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Ricardo Averbach.

She will perform the aria “O mio babbino caro,” from the opera Gianni Schicchi by Giaccomo Puccini.

Her journey to the America’s national beauty stage started as just a notion, she said.

“It started my senior year of college, I did Miss Oxford on a whim, really enjoyed it and won a scholarship. I realized the Miss America organization offered so many opportunities and scholarships. Miss America is the largest provider of scholarships to young women in the country,” said Williams.

“After graduation, I spent the summer auditioning in New York and then went to Amana, Iowa, and did Footloose with the Old Creamery Theatre. I started working at Miami University in December of 2017 and am now pursuing a graduate degree in education. I am very academic, so the scholarships were significant to me.

“What’s cool about the (pageant) is that whether you win or lose you walk away with scholarship money, professional development and interview skills. You walk away stronger,” she said.

As Miss Ohio, Williams is busy performing a multitude of public duties that come with the title.

She sings the National Anthem a various events, helps at fundraisers and shares information about the Miss Ohio program.

“I’d like to tour Ohio universities to talk about the program, especially to women’s groups and sororities,” she said.

Watch Williams compete for Miss America 2020 at 8 p.m. Thursday on NBC TV.

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